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Mexico ties Syria for most deadly country in the world for journalists

July 16, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Mexico ties Syria for most deadly country in the world for journalists

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Mexico is now listed next to Iraq as the most dangerous country in the world in 2017. It has even exceeded war-torn Syria, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported.

At least four journalists have been murdered this year in Mexico. CPJ has directly associated three of those deaths to the reporters’ work, while the motive behind another killing is still being examined.

“Every journalist in Mexico is a target,” freelance reporter Luis Chaparro said, who works in Juarez, in the state of Chihuahua.

He spoke with Manuel Bojorquez as part of the forthcoming CBS News series “CBSN: On Assignment,” which premieres on July 31st.

Mexican journalist Miroslava Breach was executed in March by purported cartel gunmen

“I, as my colleagues, feel very, unprotected,” Chaparro added.

Several circumstances have brought cartel violence raging back in Chihuahua and other areas of Mexico — from cartel factions fighting for turf and influence over government officials to rising opioid dependency in the U.S.

“They killed my colleague Miroslava recently,” Chaparro stated. “I felt that f——g bullet was too close for me.”

In March, Miroslava Breach, who often reported on cartels and corruption, was shot eight times as she drove away from her home in Chihuahua. Authorities have identified two suspects in her slaying, but no arrests have been made.

It’s believed that 90% of murders of journalists in Mexico are unsolved or not completely prosecuted.

“Perpetrators are not arrested and not punished,” Carlos Lauria, CPJ’s Program Director for the Americas said. “They do it because they feel there is no consequence.”

The CPJ reported that over 40 journalists in Mexico had been murdered for their work since 1992. In 50 other killings, a motive has still not been determined.

Mexico’s federal government has incorporated a program to protect journalists who face threatens, but Lauria maintains that it’s not working.

The murders, he added, are a threat to Mexican democracy. “It’s affecting the fundamental rights of all Mexicans for freedom of expression and access to information.”

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